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Alabama's grasp of No. 1 in the BlogPoll, viselike in previous weeks, is slipping. And it's a couple of SEC East schools making their charge at the throne.
Alabama is still the nation's top team in the Week 7 BlogPoll, but two other SEC teams are slicing into the Crimson Tide's share of first-place votes after big Week 6 wins. And Florida State and Georgia fell, fell, fell after suffering their first losses of the season.
Alabama stays No. 1 comfortably, receiving 64 of 87 first-place votes and outpacing No. 2 Oregon (four first-place votes) by more than a point per ballot, 24.37 to 23.20. And Oregon looks like the consensus No. 2 team in the country, with South Carolina sitting at No. 3 and more than half a point (22.60) behind the Ducks despite earning seven first-place votes.
West Virginia (21.34) pips Florida (21.23) for No. 4, but the Gators, fresh off a dominant win over LSU, received nine first-place votes, the most any team that was not Alabama got. West Virginia also earned one, as No. 6 Kansas State and No. 7 Notre Dame. Ohio State, LSU, and Oregon State round out the top 10 of the BlogPoll.
LSU drops five spots after its loss at Florida, but No. 11 Florida State and No. 13 Georgia each take bigger tumbles, falling eight spots apiece after being upset by N.C. State and stomped by South Carolina, respectively.
Wack Ballot Watchdog
Listing the 23 non-Alabama first-place votes seems counterproductive this week, especially because there's more solid reasoning to reward a team that isn't the Tide (which has a win over No. 29 Michigan and ... that's it, really) for winning against tough competition. HOWEVER: Dawg Sports has Alabama No. 8, which just seems mean, and Florida No. 1, which really smells like a reverse jinx.
Other unlikely Florida No. 1 votes come from Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation, Miami blog The 7th Floor, and from SEC blog Team Speed Kills, jointly run by a Florida fan and a South Carolina fan; in a week when their teams each got first-place love, Kansas State blog Bring On The Cats and Notre Dame blog One Foot Down threw their lot in with Florida, too.
Does this all seem a little strange, with Florida getting rewarded by fans who would have the best reasons not to reward it? Yeah. But the beauty of the BlogPoll is that there are a lot of voters who genuinely care about merit, and, on the merits, Florida may have the nation's best résumé, given that the Gators have a win over the highest-ranked one-loss team and are the only squad with two wins over teams currently ranked in the BlogPoll.
Now on to the extracurriculars. First up are the teams which spur the most disagreement between voters as measured by standard deviation. Note that the standard deviation charts halt at No. 25 when looking for the lowest, otherwise teams that everyone agreed were terrible (say, Boston College) would all be at the top.
|2||Ohio St. Buckeyes||16.74||4.67|
I really can't figure out USC, so I expect to see the Trojans here until there are more one-loss teams nationally or they take a second loss. Does losing to Stanford, which is now looking more like a mid-tier Pac-12 team, count as a good or bad loss?
Meanwhile, Ohio State's got an undefeated record, one of the most exciting and talented quarterbacks in the country, and a résumé filled with Big Ten wins. Oh, hey, I think I see the problem now.
First up are The Chip Kelly Award for Boldness and Jim Tressel's Numb Existence. The former goes to the voter with the ballot most divergent from the poll at large. The number you see is the average difference between a person's opinion of a team and the poll's opinion.
|1||Black Heart Gold Pants||Iowa Hawkeyes||ballot||4.21|
|2||Bucky's 5th Quarter||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||3.63|
|3||Addicted to Quack||Oregon Ducks||ballot||3.35|
|4||Let's Go Rockets||Toledo Rockets||ballot||2.90|
|5||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||2.70|
Black Heart Gold Pants is finally coming back to the pack a bit, with its lead on second in this category dipping under .60 points of standard error, but the BHGP top five, in order, is Notre Dame, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, and Oregon, so there's still plenty of deviance all over the place.
|1||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.12|
|2||Sippin on Purple||Northwestern Wildcats||ballot||1.24|
|3||Maize n Brew||Michigan Wolverines||ballot||1.38|
|4||Pistols Firing||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||ballot||1.47|
|5||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||1.56|
Eleven Warriors has numb existence down to a damn science. And in an enormous upset, only three of these five spots are filled by Big Ten blogs!
Next we have the Coulter/Kos Award and the Straight Bangin' Award, which are again different sides of the same coin. The CKA and SBA go to the blogs with the highest and lowest bias rating, respectively. Bias rating is calculated by subtracting the blogger's vote for his own team from the poll-wide average. A high number indicates you are shameless homer. A low number indicates that you suffer from an abusive relationship with your football team.
|1||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||5.03|
|2||BCS Guru||USC Trojans||ballot||4.86|
|3||Tom Fornelli||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||1.53|
|4||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||1.39|
|5||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||1.26|
We have a new "We lost a big and nationally televised game, but we still think we're better than you think!" winner in this category, and it is Burnt Orange Nation. Texas is No. 15 and earning votes like a unanimous No. 14 team would; BON has the 'Horns No. 10, down just three spots after their loss to West Virginia. Texas is currently 66th nationally in scoring defense after allowing 31, 36, and 48 points in its last three games, which is a stat that might be important to some people, I guess, maybe.
|1||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||-0.90|
|2||Maize n Brew||Michigan Wolverines||ballot||-0.87|
|3||One Foot Down||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||ballot||-0.47|
|4||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||-0.11|
|5||Pistols Firing||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||ballot||-0.08|
Frogs O' War, like the rest of us, probably doesn't know what to make of TCU, which was upset by Iowa State (now No. 25 Iowa State, I should note) and may not have Casey Pachall, suspended indefinitely thanks to a DUI, for a while. It's just that Frogs O' War is the SB Nation TCU blog, is all.
Swing is the total change in each ballot from last week to this week (obviously voters who didn't submit a ballot last week are not included). A high number means you are easily distracted by shiny things. A low number means that you're damn sure you're right no matter what reality says.
|1||Addicted to Quack||Oregon Ducks||ballot||146|
|2||Corn Nation||Nebraska Cornhuskers||ballot||144|
|3||Maize n Brew||Michigan Wolverines||ballot||144|
|4||Mountain West Connection||Utah Utes||ballot||136|
|5||Frogs O' War||TCU Horned Frogs||ballot||132|
Addicted to Quack has 16 teams in its top 25 with deltas by their names: 15 of them moved at least three spots, and Georgia fell an amazing 19 spots after getting shellacked. Corn Nation can't beat that, but it did replace six teams from Week 6 to Week 7.
Also note: BHGP falls completely off this list, a sign that their résumé balloting is at least consistent.
|1||Bucky's 5th Quarter||Wisconsin Badgers||ballot||74|
|2||Garnet and Black Attack||South Carolina Gamecocks||ballot||88|
|3||BCS Guru||USC Trojans||ballot||100|
|4||Eleven Warriors||Ohio St. Buckeyes||ballot||104|
|5||Burnt Orange Nation||Texas Longhorns||ballot||106|
That's three straight wins for Bucky's 5th Quarter, which now seems likely to win the season title for least Swing, a title about as irrelevant as the Big Ten division title Wisconsin's going to win.